Last Friday a number of Commercial Property Owners in Downtown Northfield took advantage of the half-priced drinks for anyone bringing in their tax statements to several local establishments. A few of them posed for a photo in Bridge Square.
As many of you are aware, commercial property taxes in downtown Northfield have risen over 30% a year for the past seven years or so; the total increase since 2000 is well over 200%. With rents remaining stable, there is no longer sufficient cash flow to address building operating expenses, much less maintenance and improvements.
The tax payment due-date confirmed this grim reality. The dozen or so commercial property owners with whom I spoke last week all had to either draw down their savings or borrow money from the bank to pay their tax bills.
The situation is not economically sustainable. Our architectural, commercial, and cultural health, heritage, and hope is at risk.